Knowing When to Speed Up or Slow Down
It is vitally important that you understand that God doesn’t allow the changing conditions that threaten fulfillment of your vision to come into your life and ministry just to frustrate, stress or intimidate you (I Corinthians 10:13). I believe that God allows these situations to teach you. If you accept this view, then all difficult situations and adverse changing conditions in life and ministry become viewed as opportunities to learn when to speed up or slow down in the pursuit of fulfilling your vision.
For example, you’re in the middle of a capital campaign to finance a building project and after several years of believing for this vision to be fulfilled, you’re almost there. You’re excited, giving God all the glory. You’re counting on pledges made by the membership to put this venture over.
You show up at your church one Sunday morning just to learn that a significant percent of your membership base that had pledged large amounts of unpaid money toward this project decided to join the new church down the street, where it is commonly reported that the move of God is really going on. And none of these departing members make good on their pledges. Your lending institution and contractors are unable to give you more time. What do you do? Do you think you missed God with this aspect of the vision? Do you scrap the idea all together? Do you quit the ministry? Do you go home and kick the dog and feel sorry for yourself? Absolutely not!
If you understand the need for vision balance and movement, as a local church leader you have only two choices: speed up or slow down. If God gave you the vision, then God will perform the vision in His time and season (Habakkuk 2:3). Therefore, to speed up, run ahead of God and presumptuously commit to the completion of the building project could spell disaster. The obvious choice is to slow down, reflect and ask yourself, “What did I learn?’, and see what God is saying about times and seasons.
It’s like driving an automobile down a one-way street and suddenly you notice a large sinkhole in the middle of the street. At the sight of the sinkhole, you don’t turn off the engine and forget all about your destination. You don’t get out of the car, kick the tire and swear to never drive again. And you certainly don’t speed up unless you have a death wish. What do you do? You slow down, proceed with caution and carefully negotiate the vehicle around the sinkhole and continue towards your destination.
So how can you know when to accelerate or decelerate your vision to have spiritually healthy balance and movement as you travel down “vision-pursuit” road? Simply put: You stay in tune to the Holy Spirit who is your guide (John 16:13); keep your eyes on the prize; flow with the road conditions; and, refuse to let anything become a distraction or deterrent from keeping you from pressing on (Philippians 3:14). Don’t let anyone or anything turn you around!